Returning After a Long Absence

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything on this blog, and for that, I apologize. For the last year, I’ve been involved in several projects that haven’t done much to inspire new posts here. This year, 2015, I promise to post more, as I learn new tips and techniques with BusinessObjects.

I’ve also been bad in approving comments over the past ten month, or so. And for that, I also apologize. I’ve now gotten caught up on approving comments, and have even replied to a few. I promise to be more attentive to comments. I appreciate all of them. Well, at least the ones that aren’t spam.

I’m planning some new posts, and should have some ready soon. But I’d also like to get some ideas from others. If you have any thoughts on topics that you would like to see covered here, feel free to comment to this post. I will give serious consideration to all ideas.

Thank you for sticking with me though this last year of silence. It’s time to break that silence, and start making some noise again. Who’s with me?

21 Responses to Returning After a Long Absence

  1. Freeman, James G says:

    I’M WITH YOU!!!

    That was said in my noisy voice…

    Jim Freeman
    BI Senior Consultant
    San Diego, CA


    The information contained in this message is private and confidential, is the property of Claraview, and is solely for the use of its intended recipient. If you are not the person to whom this e-mail is addressed, or if it has been sent to you in error, please notify the sender immediately. If you are not the intended recipient, please note that permission to use, copy, disclose, alter or distribute this message, and any attachments, is expressly denied.

  2. Rene Brito says:

    I am! Welcome back!

  3. Bridgette says:

    Welcome back !

  4. Vlad says:

    Greetings from The Bay State…

  5. Nick says:

    Welcome back…..what about something on making the best of IDT – for all its flaws it does have some good features……an article focussing on those new features and how using those can (potentially) outweigh the pain of some of the dubious functionality?

  6. Carlos Cantu says:

    I’m with you Michael, it’s great to have you back! I am quite interested in your thoughts and ideas about the universe’s change management process (documenting universes changes/versioning).

  7. Nick says:

    Maybe you could cover IDT shared projects…..a waste of time or what we’ve been waiting for?

  8. Selina says:

    I’d love an updated version of your ‘what’s not in webi/what was never in deski’ post, for version 4.1 SP05. We still have customers on XIr2 who are resistsing moving to webi because of a perecieved lack of deski-equiavlent features, but I can’t find anything recent from SAP updating their feature-comparison matrix, and perhaps you and the community of technical experts can assist-? I reckon a lot has been added to Webi since 4.0 with regard to Excel, freehand SQL etc, but can’t find any evidence of this on SAP sites. Thanks!

    • Excellent idea, Selina. We certainly need an updated list. Thanks.

      • Annabel_Oz says:

        Hi Selina and Michael,

        We changed from a really old version of BOIX to Webi 4.1 in December 2014/Jan 2015, and from an daily users end users MHO is the new version rocks – could never imagine going back to the old, its so users friendly and has so many more features and it safes time :).

        The new version is so much faster on computers, ie when we connect to our central server, if I connect from home ADSL+ or via mobile wireless at work its still super fast ( esp if I can boost my Java script capacity and also if I stick a usb key in to boost the instantly available ram.

        The transfer for the vast majority of users , around 40 k over 6 campus ( not 100% on numbers) and there was nothing difficult. However everyone in my office still asked me to do it for them rather than read the email ( but that’s normal). One of our BOIX tech guys got a piece of software from SAP (or wrote it) that converted all BOIX reports in users “My Favourites” folder, and on inputting their username and hitting the transfer button the software took a few minutes picked up their reports from the old version and transferred it to their new inboxes in the correct format in 4.1 “My Favourites” folder. ” My Favourite” folder, transferred to my new 4.1 “My Favourites” no issues despite the size of some of the reports and with over 1300 reports it only took 15 minutes. The only limitation for most users was that the software was not able to copy a report that was left in their old in the inbox directly to their new inbox, so regular emails were sent reminding users to save and transfer inbox reports or deleted if they were not needed.

        My big problem was with moving large multiple linked Rich Client reports with lots and lots of written dimensions ( the only way to penetrate the data to the level I need. I final got one of the tech guys up to see the reports and even they were surprised by the accuracy and seize of the reports. And suddenly they got concerned about the earlier advice about saving the webi (even though they wont open) and just transferring. We saved it many time usb, c:/ h;/ g:/ and they tried as straight .wid to wid in rich client and it worked on their screen image, unfortunately rich client was not to be rolled out the regular users, he wasn’t leaving my room til he installed it. Some of the objects had gone, hence not every single one of my reports ran, which was not great for record keeping and legacy, but it worked pretty well.,

        And I know a lot more people are using Rich Client and Java over the HTML version as it is easier to move in , but I think it is personal preference.

        I am not in the central area who look after the database and universes control, but I know some of those on the help desker and they are a lot happier, they find it easier to work on and easier to instruct people on using it.

        I understand the tech guys (the databasers and administrators) found it really good to as they were able to bring forward to change over by 3 months , which NEVER happens in our organisation. ( but I think they forgot to do customer testing prior to role out ??

        And I know from an end user side , they while we do not have everything available to us, like the excel add on (which looks fantastic and I am pushing for it) HANA, and dash boards etc, there is a lot of additional end users plus to be had, and even more if you have a great database system and help tem how they interact and know what the data means 🙂

        As the info was light on the ground I got SAP Business Objects Web Intelligence, that’s from work and the internet I bought, The Comprehensive Guide 3rd Edition Updated and Expanded for release of 4.1, SAP. HANA and More and it covers the upgrades really well , it the best on stop shop for Webi (authors Brogden, Sinkwitz, Marks, Orthous) – Galileo Press via SAP Press ( can be most easily bought at SAP press library or Amazon of course. ( I read it front to back in 2 days and it has more flagged pages that not and it does not leave my room to the point it is strapped to my desk)

        This in no way will be as good as anything Michael says I thought I would let you know the experience of someone who and user of Webi / Rich Clients ( 8 hours a day x 5 days x 4 week x 17) despite the 3 month early change over after the xmas break break, I was appreciating it within 1 week. I could not image going back to really old grey and white screen

        (also we have a good trick I can log onto the system from as many different computers at the sane time as I like (same password and username ) great when I want to run a small change or refresh those big reports – could be out security bug but I thought I would let you know in case it would be an issues for you )


  9. Miss Universe says:

    here! Still listening 😉

  10. xeradox says:

    Nice to see you are back ! 🙂

  11. Annabel_Oz says:

    Welcome back Michael 🙂

    So glad your back, your old blog post , BOBJ and a few sites have saved my life over the past 18 or so months while I have been learning the real ins and out of BOIX.
    I was offered and internal job because the last data person left because they could not get their head around the data so they went for a person with their head around the data and who new basic SQL, could run a simple ( really really simple Business Object report) and new a bit of HTML , think that this was the better way.

    I quickly learned the issues the person with BO experienced had, it wasn’t the content it was the way the system worked, so I quickly started drawing picks to try and understand how this program worked or should work as a database, how it the universe and measures should work and how I should be able to get access to their relationship with the objects and a list of objects, happily I sent an email to central help, that sat for a month, phoned and was told they don’ t hand that out, if I need a report written, send it to them and they will write it, sent a well formulated report to record students going back 13 years on a individual students basis as they moved in and out of the systems, courses, grades, demo data etc. and report twice a year. They said the system was not designed to do that. I said its capable of doing that and started researching.
    It has been a pleasure to read your sight and to learn invaluable information on this program and what it can do, and I truly appreciate your ability to take the time to explain the answer and give it. As it let me work my situation into the one you describe and work through.
    My favourite article of course of Webi article (or Rich client ones) but I like reading the others to, and occasionally I send some of database design ones to the helpdesk who send them onto the techs along with my questions, still don’t get a response from the tech, but I at least get interesting feedback from the helpdesk people, who have to tell me “just because it can be done that is not the way we do it”. And my bosses love hearing that central knows it is not doing things optimally but that works for them.
    Well back to try and figure out how to use Rich Client and three excel docs to do a grad checklist for students in theory so easy, if they all started once a year, did all the subjects in the suggested order and all passed the course first time and the rules never change, so far on a first step I have reduced the number of manual checks by 18%( or roughly 180 working hours t), the second step is taking a bit more of if then else, match , count etc… (however my hope would be to save another 52% or in total 70% or roughly 7000 working hours twice per year a) staff will love me and imagine what can be done with that much staff time – ) but the second part is harder because I am dealing with dealing with humans (both students and faculty) at colleges who don’t the above, like stick to rules, always pass, always be full times and either follow the rules or don’t change them….. Sounds like the time to get the headphones one and some wine to get the neurones to connect different..

    Your website is now moving back to the scared favourite bar in all my web browser – not there will be new content – joining BOB, and I will be popping by a lot more to read your fantastic insight.

    Just wanted to make sure you know how wide spread globally and how impactful your work had been on my career 🙂 (and on the career of many other who are affected positively by my work) and how grateful I am that you spend your time and are willing to impart and share your knowledge with us for no other reason that you must be a wonderful person 🙂

    Thank You so much

    And if you using marketing stats you can feel even better for every 1 person who writes something positive it equates to 1000 in Australia ( so that may be 5000 to 10000 in countries with high populations.

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